Lesson 10: Part 3 of 3 (series: Lessons on Ephesians)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

“For through him…” The truth of Ephesians 2:17 is proven by the facts of Christ’s coming and Him preaching peace. “Through Him” means more than ‘through His blood,’ for it is the emphatic phrase. Only through the mediation of this Person, Jesus Christ, do…

“…We both have access…”
Jews and Gentiles “have access” (lit., ‘the access’). The primary sense of the word is ‘introduction (preface, foreword, prologue)”; and some render it as such, both here and in Romans 5:2: “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The present tense (‘we have’) points either to a continued freedom of ‘access,’ or to the process going on as each one obtains this ‘introduction.’ The former seems more appropriate.

“…By one Spirit unto the Father.”
Neither the human frame of mind nor the human spirit can be meant. As a result of the Cross, both Jewish and Gentile believers have access to God. Formerly access to God was through Judaism, but now it is through Christ by the Holy Spirit. As a result of Christ’s death, all believers now have direct access to “the Father” (Ephesians 3:12; Romans 5:2). The Holy Spirit gives Jewish and Gentile Christians equal access to God. Note that all three members of the Godhead appear in this verse.

Controversy over whether Gentile believers had to come to God through Judaism or whether they could come directly to God as Gentiles raged in the early church (Acts 15:1-5; Galatians 1-2). Paul gave the solution to this problem again here (cf. Acts 15:6-21; Galatians 3-4). God has made Jewish and Gentile believers one in the church (Ephesians 2:14). He created a new entity, the church, out of two others, namely, Jewish believers and Gentile believers (Ephesians 2:15). Both kinds of believers experience reconciliation with each other in that body (Ephesians 2:16), and both have access to God by one Spirit (Ephesians 2:18).

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